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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Carie M.

“Do coupons influence my purchasing decisions? Why, or why not?” When I first read this question, I immediately thought about my shopping experiences and how often I actually use coupons. I am a very frugal person, and very seldom do I pay full price for anything. I tend to be a name brand person in most instances, so I definitely use coupons on the brands with which I am loyal. I also like to wait until they go on sale, in addition to using my coupons, in order to maximize my savings. Now, I am not one of these people who buy multiple Sunday papers just for the coupons. However, I am pretty vigilante about digging them out of the paper each Sunday and clipping and organizing them on Monday.

I also like to use coupons to try new products. I am not typically one to buy something new unless it’s on sale or I have a coupon for it. I have learned to like many new products just by purchasing them with a coupon, when I most likely would not have tried them if I had to pay full price for them.

Very seldom do I go to the store and not use coupons. On my last shopping visit, I spend $157 and saved $18. That’s a savings of about 10%. That’s $18 that I can spend on something else!

Besides store and manufacturer’s coupons, I really like restaurant coupons. We are a family of six, so it can be extremely expensive for us to go out to eat at a restaurant. Therefore, if I can find a restaurant coupon for a particular restaurant, it is highly likely that my family will go to eat at that restaurant.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on food and restaurants at I’m In!

Another type of coupon that I find useful is store specific coupons. For instance, Office Depot will send coupons for $10 off $50 or something similar. I purchase a lot of office type products for my job, and many times I will use these coupons to save my employer money. In addition, our family will use coupons for oil changes, haircuts, and other services such as lawn mowing and dry cleaning.

I am a full time working mom, and I decided to go back to graduate school last spring. I am taking three classes this fall, besides working and following four children around. Needless to say, we are a busy family. Since going back to school, my husband has offered to help more with household responsibilities, including grocery shopping. He made his first shopping trip last week, and I asked him if he wanted to take the coupons. He agreed to take them, but wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it. I also asked him if he wanted to take my insulated shopping bags with the flowers on them to which he replied, “No, I think that would be a little too much.” So, I was worried all day about how much he would spend and if he would use the right coupons and buy the things that were on sale. Surprisingly, he spent less than I usually do and had enough for all the meals for the week. I was so proud of him and relieved all at the same time. He now is the official grocery buyer in our home, at least until I get out of school.

I am a budget follower (even though my husband isn’t always), and I rely on coupons to save money on various items for my family. Every little bit helps, and we like to use the money that we save for extras such as vacations and hobbies. I love to clip, organize, and use coupons for all different things. So, to answer the question, “Do coupons influence my purchasing decisions?” the answer is most definitely yes. We rely on coupons heavily and even think it’s kind of fun to see how much money we can save.

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